The American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending that doctors must be hands on with special education services, and be active in advocating for children with disabilities.
A report published in the journal Pediatrics states that doctors are a significant resource for enabling children to get the services they need and are entitled to receive from schools. It offers pediatricians a 13 page primer on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, explaining the responsibilities of school districts to provide help for children all the way through the beginning of adulthood.
“Although providers are advised to respect the educational expertise of school professionals, they can safeguard that children with disabilities and other health or behavioral issues receive appropriate services from (early intervention) and school programs throughout their childhood years,” the report states.
The AAP recommends that doctors identify and refer children who should qualify for special education and effectively communicate with programs based in schools about what the children need.